Hospitals, Nursing Homes Will Begin to Accept Used Syringes
Albany (June 28) -- Starting July 1, hospitals and nursing homes statewide will accept used needles, syringes and lancets for disposal. This will be available to all New Yorkers who use medical "sharps" in their homes, State Health Commissioner Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., said today.
"Many people with serious health conditions manage their care at home," Dr. DeBuono said. "People with diabetes use syringes to inject their own insulin and lancets to test their blood glucose every day.
"Starting Monday, these patients can drop off used syringes, needles and lancets at local hospitals and nursing homes," the Commissioner said. "By establishing collection sites statewide, we hope that fewer people will dispose of medical sharps in their household trash. The regulation will protect trash handlers and sewage treatment workers against disease or injury and avoid attracting drug abusers looking for syringes to reuse."
Although State law allows disposal of needles in household trash, local laws may be different. New Yorkers should check with their local department of public works for information about disposal of needles.
To drop off used medical sharps at hospitals and nursing homes, people must put sharps in a rigid, puncture resistant container, secured with a screw top and labeled "Contains Needles" or "Biohazard." Used sharps should not be clipped, bent or recapped, and the needles should never be reused. Containers and all medical sharps should be kept out of children's reach.
Nursing homes and hospitals located near each other can designate one site for collection of used medical sharps. People should contact their local hospital or nursing home to find out where the collection site is in their area.
6/28/96-81 OPAContact: Claudia Hutton, Director, Public Affairs (518) 474-7354
New York State Department of Health Posted 7/1/96